Canon Pro Day – New Forest

I hate early mornings, I really am rubbish at getting up, but photography is about challenges and opportunities to learn so when I was invited along to work with Andy Farerr and David Clapp to learn more about photographing the New Forest, colour management and to experiment with a tilt shift lens for the first time, I had to give it a go… arriving at 3.30am and lectures before a drive through the forest for sunrise… was really out of my comfort zone.

The event was interesting, I learnt a lot…  the biggest thing for me was that I am not cut out for group landscape photography sessions…. you cant go where you want to go because you walk into other shots,  waiting for the sunrise and the right light is BORING, I am sorry but although the light is amazing… the waiting is just not for me … I like things that happen.

I took my Canon 5d Mark iii along, my 16-35mm and my 28-300 lens, I also took a second camera the canon M5 with the basic kit lens, and along with the 24mm tilt and shift lens I borrowed I was keen to see which images I choose to keep.

This was one of my first images on the 24mm F3.5II L lens, it was interesting and challenging to work out how to use it, to manually focus the lens, and to work out how to expose it correctly. It was interesting to see how the tilt effected the verticles in the image – and I definatley think it would have its uses.

Canon Pro (5 of 88)

Cano Pro Day

My first shot in the forest, I choose my zoom lens, I played it safe, I like the compression the long lens gives, but it was great to capture the morning colour.

Dawn Light - 29-300mm lens, 170mm focal length.

Dawn Light – 29-300mm lens, 170mm focal length.

Feeling creative and wanting to capture something a little different I used the zoom lens on my tripod and created a panning shot just to blur the colours of the sky. A great way to make a background or an absract photo.

Dawn Sky colours - 170 mm on 28-300mm lens.p

Dawn Sky colours – 170 mm on 28-300mm lens.

This is with the tilt shift, I wanted to use the log as a leading line and the tree as a frame… but the only way to capture it was to shoot 5 shots and turn it into an HDR as the dynamic range was too much to the sensor. It is great how the tilt shift enables me to include extra foreground and how sharp the detail is.

Daws Sunrise - 5 image stacked HDR, F20, ISO 100, 24mm tilt shift lens

Daws Sunrise – 5 image stacked HDR, F20, ISO 100, 24mm tilt shift lens

The Tilt Shift Lens again, this time angled to include a lot more sky, it was really interesting to see how tilting the lens could make such a difference to the amount of space you could include in the view finder. I really like the sky, but I feel like the details in the foreground were missing…. closer to the water may have helped, but you had to be aware of other photpgraphers.

Dawn over the pond - 24mm Tilt shift lens

Dawn over the pond – 24mm Tilt shift lens

Same position almost and a different lens choice… the exposure is slightly higher and more sun has appeared – I like the verstility of this lens a lot, which is why it is one of my favourites for walkabout photography – despite the weight!

Morning Dawn - 28-300 mm lens at 65mm

Morning Dawn – 28-300 mm lens at 65mm

Looking for different angles I also shot the dawn in the portrait position, I love the reflection of colours in the water.

Dawn morning - 28-300mm lens at 25 mm

Dawn morning – 28-300mm lens at 25 mm

I also had the opportunity to use the canon mirroless m5 with the 15-45mm lens and I was delighted with the quality I got from the camera at low light – it was the first time I used it in that scenerio

Canon Pro (139 of 174)

Dawn landscape – canon M5 – 17mm – 15-45mm lens

Below is the Canon 16-35mm wide angle lens, you can see the colours are very similar although the light varied between shots.

Canon Pro (68 of 88)

Canon 16-35mm wide angle lens

The great thing about the mirrorless camera was that you could get low in the scene and with the shadows listed I was delighted, I even had the opportunity during the day to print direct from the camera to a Pro printer, and the quality of the unedited image was great, being aware of print profiling which was explained in detail by Andy would have helped though!

Dawn landscape - canon M5 - 17mm - 15-45mmlens

Dawn landscape – canon M5 – 17mm – 15-45mm lens

A selfie … captured on the M5 just to proove I was there, that early.  It really highlighted to me that I should get out and enjoy the mornings more – I should… but whether I do, will remain to be seen.

Canon Pro (141 of 174)

Self with the Canon M5

The final shots were trying to captured star bursts as the sun approached the horizon – a small aperature helps for this and just a tiny bit of sunlight.

Canon Pro (74 of 88)

Canon 16-35mm lens

Signs of Autumn - 15-25mm lens at 35m - Canon M5

Canon m5

What did I learn from today?

  • Composition and Light is more important that the lens and the camera… making the most of what you have is the best talent, and knowing how to operate it in low light.
  • Group landscape shoots are not my thing, I like to walk, to explore, to discover what is round the next corner, what the next angle might be and I don’t like waiting for the perfect moment.
  • Colour profiles for print, online use and screen managment is an essential part of the workflow and can make a real difference to the end image.
  • A tilt shift lens is interesting to use, offers something different, but is not something I feel I have a need for – for once my hubby will be pleased!
  • It was a great day – it is well worth being a Canon Professional member, David Clapp was a great presenter, despite the early start and still believes that photography is meant to be fun, Andy Farrer gave some great examples of landscape images and offered some great advice on print profiling, and I would happy listen to both of them talk again!